City rolls out smart fines

The City of Cape Town’s Traffic Service is adding another technological advancement to its arsenal with the roll-out of smart SMS technology that will allow motorists to pay fines via their cellphones, tablets or personal computers.

The technology has been brought on stream by the City’s service provider who is responsible for generating and sending fine notices.

For the past few months, the service provider has been testing the SMS service. A message containing a link to a secure webpage is delivered to a motorist’s cellphone. They are then able to view the fine by inputting their identification number, with additional options to download or e-mail the fine or even pay it directly from the link.

The smart short messages will not replace the traditional mailing of first notices as these will still be sent via the South African Post Office. The service will allow the City to monitor exactly how many people have received the text message, opened it, and downloaded or paid the fine.

Traffic fines can be viewed on the following mobile operating systems: Android, Windows, IOS, Blackberry, Symbian, and Linux. The system is also compatible with desktop computers and tablets. The browser compatibility includes: Internet Explorer 7 to 11, Internet Explorer mobile, Firefox, Chrome and Android, Opera, Safari, Dolphin and Konqueror.

The public can still use any of the existing channels to pay fines. This service is meant to simplify life for everyone involved and members of the public are invited to use the system and give feedback so that it can be tweaked if need be.

A time to come and a time to go: Lions Tony & Hettie Allan – Serving Lions 1974 T0 2016

An old African proverb contains an amazing truth, “It takes a whole village to bring up a child.”  We are all products of the community that we grew up in. Our parents gave us our biological form, the family raised us but the community impacted on our lives and shaped us by their influences. For this we thank the community and need to help contribute to the solution of their problems by contributing to their future hopes. In this aim a person needs to be forthcoming and help plan to uplift the areas facilities and to cater for the needs of all, both young and old.

A thoughtful saying “To meet someone is an opportunity to provide a kindness.”  An earlier 2016 Braintainment Magazine Edition devoted a full multi page article on how the spirit of kindness actually returns many benefits to the donor(s):

Generally their health is better than others; Their stress levels are lower; They experience a wondrous upliftment of inner feelings due to their compassion, love and generosity and they share much laughter; Many additional benefits accrue to the donor especially when actively involved by giving time and assisting with community service.

Perhaps community service volunteers have discovered a secret that has eluded others preferring to operate as an island. (Here Firms also need to be reminded of their Social Responsibilities) The answer will not be known until the first step is taken and the toes are allowed to get wet.

Here our club would like to report the involvement of two special persons with 42 years active membership who have resigned but decided to remain Friends of the Lions Club De Grendel.

It would be an impossible task to attempt to record the gratitude, emotions and words for all of their assistance, friendship, dedication and support over these years – but until the English language develops such a word, a simple “Thank You” will have to suffice.

Lions Club De Grendel was chartered on 14 June 1974, at Libertas Hotel. The Charter night was a glittering occasion, and Tony Allan was one of 40 Lions inducted and, his wife, Hettie as Lion Lady. Tony said that most of the Charter Lions were friends, and all were very excited at the idea of forming a brand new Lions Club. Their membership included a host of business people, and enthusiasm and the wish to serve the less privileged abounded. The Lions Club with its` large young membership, was very enthusiastically involved in all the services that they do today, plus many others.

Lion Tony said that some of the nostalgia of the Charter Evening of 1974 was re-lived, when he had the privilege as outgoing President in 1999, to arrange the Lions Club De Grendel’s 25th anniversary, with a large number of past Presidents in attendance. Lion Lady Hettie was inducted as a Lion in May 1999, which coincided with his tenure as Zone Chairman. Tony added that she was always very supportive throughout, and always assisted him with all his projects.

“Talking of projects – beside all the regular Club projects and various portfolios – one of my favourite projects was twinning with Lions Clubs` abroad. In the process we made many friends, and also visited when travelling overseas. One of the projects closest to my heart, was initiating the Hearing Aid Exchange Project, with Lion Gerald Adams of Exeter West Lions Club in the UK.  The project resulted in excess of 20,000 H/Aids being supplied to us for distribution to our local hospitals, for the benefit of the under privileged at no cost, since 1998,” said Lion Tony

“In closing the above, all points to a united team effort by Lions, who had great fun while serving those in need out there. All of this was made much easier for all of us as male lions, with the assistance of our willing and able female partners in service, with all our projects plus theirs. We were like one great big family – great occasions – great -camaraderie – all done in the true spirit of Lionism.”

“We have given many hours, days, weeks, months and years of service.  It was not an easy decision, but we have finally decided to step down after 42 years of rewarding service to our community as Lions,” Lion Tony added.

To put the Hearing-Aid Project, partnered with the Lions Club of Exeter West in perspective, every digital hearing aid costs R16 000. The total value of the project will be in excess of R40 million at second hand value.

Extra members and help are always welcomed in particular for the September Ladies Spring Day Dinner and Fun packed afternoon and for the “October Beer fest.”

Please contact the De Grendel Lions Club President Patrick Pillay  on 078 797 3283 or email: pillay.patrick405@gmail.com if you wish to find out more information about the club.

Lion Mike Wood, De Grendel Lions Club

JULY16-15_01Opel Astra hatch 1.4T Sport hatchback
by Helen Carstens

Sleek and smooth best describes the new Opel Astra.  It features a new design that sets the scene for the premium vehicle from Opel.

The stylish sedan look with silver edges around the windscreen culminates in the hatchback design of the rear to create the look, certainly a different take on the Astra.

Defined lines down the sides and the sleek slightly extended roof extending to the rear roof fin all add to the sporty look.

Inside the sleekness continues, offering a neat dash and centre console.  My test unit was the 1.4 Turbo Sport Hatchback and featured cloth seats and lots of bells and whistles:  Cruise control with speed limiter, auto-dimming rearview mirror, lane deviation warning, dual aircon, Bluetooth telephone and media streaming, rain sensing wipers, LED daytime running lights, auto off headlamps – once turned on you can leave them on as they automatically turn off when you turn off the engine.  And that is not all – Keyless entry with push button start/stop, auto-stop/start, electric windows and side mirrors with blind-spot warning indicators to assist with lane changing.  Even more the Astra features a reverse camera and parking sensors, an adjustable multi-function steering wheel which adds to a comfortable drive.  Paramount among the extensive feature list, the keyless function is always a plus for me.

All the controls are laid out neatly with centrally located buttons below the central display screen.

I was most impressed with the six-speed manual I drove as the gear changes were effortless and extremely quiet.  The new Astra certainly sets the bar, providing a sporty, sleek ride.  The drive was smooth and comfortable. Rear-seated passengers also said that the ride was comfortable.  Additionally the 60/40 split rear seats can fold flat if you need to carry a large load in the boot.

The new Opel Astra certainly appeals to me, offering style, comfort and an unbelievably smooth ride.

HC

JULY16-15_02Jeep Cherokee 3.2L 4×4 Trailhawk
by Warren Hammond

The 2016 Jeep Cherokee brings quite a few changes to the existing formula.  The offroader has been upgrade to mirror a sleeker sports look from the rugged bundu basher of before.

The bonnet tapers downward from the windscreen ending in a more rounded front with a narrow grille that sits quite high.  The Jeep logo sits above the grille on top of the bonnet.  A nice addition to the top of the range Trail Hawk is the centre portion of the bonnet cut in black vinyl to shape that runs up to the end of the bonnet to the windscreen.  The bonnet itself tapers inward toward the grille and the front fenders wrap around on top creating a rounded front with narrow, sports car-like wrap around headlights.  These units house the main headlights as well as the daytime LED running lights.

Red badges on the body in front of the side mirrors that say “trail tested” give credit to the Jeeps 4×4 capabilities.  Park assist sensors front and rear are standard and there is a rearview reverse camera, however this is available only as an optional extra.

The Tailgate opens and closes automatically at the push of a button – perfect if you’re loading luggage and your hands are full.  The boot provides ample storage room with the option to drop the rear seats to further expand this, at the cost of carrying extra passengers in the rear of course.  The spare wheel is located under the floor of the boot on a hinged door.

The Trail Hawk features a Leather-bound multifunction steering wheel and leather seats with a modern black interior.   The seats are leather and stitched in red with the Trail Hawk label in Red below the headrest.

The bulk of the driver information is displayed is via a full colour LCD panel situated between analogue speedometer and rev counters.  The display can be adjusted, via the navigation buttons on the steering wheel, to show range, fuel economy, speed (which can be set to display in km or miles), media and a range of settings among others.

The main console features a large full colour touch display for navigating radio, media, climate control and several vehicle settings as well as the onboard GPS navigation.  Below the display are the controls for the dual-zone climate control, most of which are edged in chrome to add a certain level of class.  At the bottom are ports for Car Charger, Aux, USB, SD Card and iPod connectivity.  Bluetooth connectivity for telephone and audio streaming is also present as well as voice control accessible via the multifunction steering wheel.  Additionally the steering wheel has buttons on the back, very cleverly situated in perfect reach of your fingers when your hands are on the wheel, for controlling the volume and track selection of the media you’re playing.

At the base of the console are the controls for the Cherokee’s offroad capabilities.  The dial features settings for auto-snow-sport-sand/mud and rock.  Buttons on the dial control additional features such as hill hold assist and incline descent assist.

The automatic gear lever shifts smoothly and precisely and the electric parking brake sits just behind it.  The parking brake engages automatically when you shift into park, which I found to be really handy.

The Jeep Cherokee Trail Hawk is loaded with features.  You can expect all the standards like auto-locking doors on drive-away, electric windows all around and electric folding mirrors, but what stood out for me was the keyless entry and start with auto stop/start as well as rain sensing wipers and auto lights with daytime running LEDs.

The Jeep Cherokee provides a solid ride.  The V6 engine pushes out 200kW and 315nM of torque to a nine-speed automatic gearbox.  The 60 litre petrol tank offers a range of approximately 500km and an average consumption of around 10.8 litres per 100km.

Ample space is afforded to all passengers and the ride is solid and comfortable.  On the road and off the road the Jeep Cherokee Trail Hawk is a great drive, affording the driver and passenger comfort and class.

WH

JULY16-15_03Renault Kadjar 96kW TCe Dynamique
by Helen Carstens

New from Renault is the Kadjar – an SUV that is functional and practical.  The Body presents as an SUV with large wheel arches, a curvaceous bonnet and large side mirrors.

My test unit was the 97KW turbo 1.2 model and featured an interior with leather-stitched seating and an uncluttered dash housing a large display screen with dual aircon below.  The Kadjar packs a multifunction, adjustable steering wheel with the volume and media/phone control stalk behind the steering wheel, as is Renault trademark design.  The driver is greeted by a simplified driver display with the rev counter in the centre with a digital speed display nested in the centre of that.

The touch screen allows for navigation of various menus and options as well as the handy reverse camera.

My Kadjar was loaded with features including keyless entry, push button start/stop, an electric parking brake, cruise control with speed limiter, lane change indicators, rain sensing wipers, doors that auto-lock on pull away, auto-dimming rearview mirror, electric side mirrors and electric windows all around.  Furthermore I was impressed by the number of USB iPod and Aux ports as well as built in navigation and Bluetooth telephone and media streaming.  I absolutely loved the panoramic glass roof, especially when driving through areas where trees line the roads as you feel like you’re driving through nature with a window to the beauty of the world.

The six-speed manual provides a smooth drive. It includes an ECO mode and gear change indicator which both help with the fuel economy.  You can see when you are driving economically by a leaf display that shows and guides you, aiding you to drive in the most economical manner.  After each drive you can pull up a display via the touch screen that shows you how economical your last trip was.

The Kadjar is spacious and comfortable and my test unit included my ultimate favourite feature – heated seats.  The boot is spacious and the rear seats can fold down to greatly increase the carrying capacity.

The phrase what you see is what you get most certainly does not apply here – versatile is one of the best ways to describe it because besides standard suburban driving, I had the opportunity to take the 1.6 Turbo Diesel 4WD Kadjar on sand dunes where it handled just as superbly.

While the Kadjar had a wide selection of niceties, the thing that stood out the most for me was the superb fuel efficiency, which I think is the most important aspect to most any driver in our current economy.

HC

JULY16-15_04Toyota Hilux 2.8GD-6 d/cab Raider auto
by Helen Carstens

The Hilux is synonymous with durability and functionality and, I must admit, it was not anywhere near the top of my rankings.  It had its place and was a top seller to no end, but to me it has always been just a bakkie, nothing more.

The new Hilux is, to me, anything but just a bakkie. It is different to its predecessor from every angle you can think of. It has a modern appearance, from the outside and the inside.  Besides all of the upgrades under the bonnet, it has a completely new appearance.  The exterior is bold and strong with curves and smoothness.  From the front grille over the accentuated wheel bonnet to the roof and down behind the cab to the back loading bay, it most certainly shows strength in its appearance.

The interior is radically different from anything before – you could easily be mistaken for thinking you are in an SUV and not a bakkie.  The new Hilux has a sense of style and a host of modern features absent in the Hilux of yesteryear.

The smooth, straight dash is seamless with a dual display and aircon dials, USB and Aux inputs, juice holders and the gear lever all below that.  My test unit was the Hilux 2.8 six-speed auto.

The Hilux features a leather-bound adjustable multifunction steering wheel, cruise control, Bluetooth telephone and media streaming and multiple functions for the display screens.

The 4×4 controls are handled via a dial (as opposed to a lever), ensuring that the functionality of the Hilux is still there – and somewhat better than before.  Now I can say, and it’s about time too, that the Hilux has finally arrived and can comfortably compete with others on an even playing field.

I thoroughly enjoyed the ride.  It was smooth and gear changes silent. The ride was most comfortable and there was most definitely power.  I was unfortunately unable to unleash that power, but believe me it is definitely there!

The new Hilux is here and I think it is a welcome addition that the die-hard Hilux fans are going to love.  It shows boldness and strength in the suburbs and durability and functionality in the great outdoors where it will sparkle and shine like never before and can definitely compete with any of its rivals.

HC

Business coaching: What is your current reality?

FEB15-14How IMPORTANT is it to you to ANALYSE your business regularly?

Why would you do this?

  • to keep abreast of all aspects in your business
  • to know exactly where you are at within your business
  • to decide what has been working well
  • to decide what needs to change
  • to decide what needs to be dropped
  • to be able to plan your way forward

Thoughts:

How can you begin to plan going forward, when you do not know exactly where you are?When do you see yourself doing this?

  • What are your energy levels like at the moment?
  • How overwhelmed are you feeling?
  • Are you targeting your ideal market?
  • What does your time management look like?
  • How do you prioritise your work load?
  • How motivated are you right now?
  • How on purpose are you?
  • How in control are you?
  • How important is this to you?

We are often so caught up trying to make things happen, chasing the rands and cents, that we lose track of exactly where our business is at, and everything becomes a blur or you tend to get ‘STUCK’ where you are. Then you begin to wonder why you are not making the money you envisaged. You wonder why you are so stressed out. You start wondering if it is worth being in business?

You start thinking: Wouldn’t it be easier if I was just working for someone?

You feel that you are working for your business, not it for you!

PROBLEM!

Be careful what you think, your thoughts will become your reality … What you tell YOURSELF every day will either lift you UP or tear you DOWN!

It’s up to YOU … Synergy can put this all into perspective for you! The amazing thing about life is that you choose what you allow into it, you choose how things affect you, you choose how you react. Happiness is a choice. Make it!

Call Synergy and BOOK an appointment now – DON’T PROCRASTINATE!

Set aside the time to RE-ENERGISE your business, to RE-MOTIVATE yourself, to gain DIRECTION, to take CONTROL of your destiny…

APR15-08

CARD PAYMENTS ON THE CARDS AT CITY VEHICLE REGISTRATION CENTRES

In a bid to improve customer satisfaction at motor vehicle service registration centres across Cape Town, the city has started testing card payment facilities.

The service is first being tested at the Motor Vehicle Registration office at the Cape Town Civic centre before being expanded to other MVR facilities across Cape Town.  The service will be rolled out next to the MVR office in the Promenade Mall in Mitchells Plain which will be followed by weekly roll-outs to the MVR offices in Milnerton, Khayelitsha, Plumstead and other MVR offices across the metro.

The city-wide roll out to MVR offices is expected to take approximately two months. The expansion of card payment facilities for the payment of rates and tariff accounts, building plan and land use applications and traffic fines will take a bit longer as system upgrades are required.

The City will accept payments of up to R5 000 per transaction by credit or debit card, or any other means of payment which does not hold any cost implications for the client. This amount covers most transactions by our clients, be it for motor vehicle licences, rates and services bills, or other sundry payments. The City will, however, reclaim the relevant banking fee for any payment over R5 000.

Baby Marrow Soup

Try this lovely soup, its quick and easy and delicious with fresh crusty bread rolls.

Ingredients

  • 1 punnet baby marrows, thickly sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • About 500ml hot water
  • 250ml cream
  • Half a round of feta cheese (optional)

Place the baby marrows, onion, chicken stock and hot water in a saucepan and cook until marrows are tender.
Liquidise or mash, return to the saucepan and add the cream. If it appears too thick, add a little milk.
Just before serving, crumble the feta into the soup.

New Disability Equipment for park in Edgemead

Residents who are disabled and wheel chair bound now have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with the rest of their families.  Ward 5 Councillor Helen Carstens has installed disability equipment on The Bend Park in Edgemead.

“This equipment which comprises of two swings will certainly bring inclusivity to an outdoor park,” explained Cllr Carstens, “the idea comes from a long way back and stems from my interaction years ago with a severely disabled boy.  It came to me at that time that no matter if you are disabled in any way, you still would enjoy the outdoors.  I often wondered what it must be like for a wheel chair bound child to watch their abled sibling flying high on a swing and also whether the wheelchair would even be able to access the park.”

Carstens explained that much planning went into the placing of the highly specialized equipment with many site visits and much variables coming into the equation.  She said the different aspects that needed to be looked at included the level of the ground as well as easy access and traffic implications.

“The Bend Park was eventually earmarked as the most suitable, and I am really happy because it is a park that has play equipment, gym equipment and now disabled equipment.  A family can really have a wonderful time at this fully inclusive park,” said Carstens.

“Most of the activities in the world are aimed at full-bodied persons often with little or no thought given to people with disabilities.  I now hope that wheel chair bound persons of all ages make use of this equipment.  The swings are able to take small and larger chairs, catering for all ages,” Carstens said “and I hope to add more apparatus in the future.”

ACVV De Grendel receives blankets towards 16th Annual Hope for Winter campaign

ACVV De Grendel Principal Lucy Moran and Ward Councillor Helen Carstens with the blankets she donated to the creche towards their Hope for Winter Campaign with Danielle Kemp and the beautiful thank you card which she presented to Cllr Carstens.
ACVV De Grendel Principal Lucy Moran and Ward Councillor Helen Carstens with the blankets she donated to the creche towards their Hope for Winter Campaign with Danielle Kemp and the beautiful thank you card which she presented to Cllr Carstens.

On 23 June Ward Councillor Helen Carstens donated blankets to the ACVV De Grendel Creche towards their 16th Hope for Winter Campaign.  The annual campaign sees all the branches of the ACVV participate nationwide in an effort to collect clothing, blankets, toiletries and non-perishable food items for distribution to persons in need.  Principal of ACVV De Grendel, Lucy Moran, appeals to the public to assist by donating any of these items toward this cause.

“The parents of our creche are always so supportive and generous towards this campaign and we are very thankful to Councillor Carstens for her donation of blankets as well,” Mrs Moran added.

Councillor Carstens was presented with a thank you card made by five year old Danielle Kemp in appreciation of the blankets donated as well as all that she does for the community of Bothasig.